Published Feb 24, 2015Toronto-based jazz and hip-hop trio BADBADNOTGOOD have come together with one of Wu-Tang Clan's most valuable emcees, Ghostface Killah, to produce Sour Soul. With a listening time of just over a half-hour, this short album of late night instrumentation showcases the Humber College dropouts reining in the expansive, layered compositions of jazz fusion and hip-hop mixtures they're known for in favour of more tightly packed 1970's-era action film rhythms and instrumentals, not unlike the ideas heard on Ghost's 2013 Adrian Younge-assisted project, Twelve Reasons to Die.
On Sour Soul, the animated, impressive beats from BADBADNOTGOOD provide an interesting backdrop for the sometimes unvaried and off-kilter Ghostface Killah. While there are some impressive moments from Tony Starks here, like on lead single "Ray Gun," the Wu rapper gets outshined here by MF DOOM, making the missed opportunity that could have been their collaborative album all the more apparent. And an incredibly ethereal, moody and pointed contribution from independent Chicago rapper TREE on "Street Knowledge" only further argues that the instrumentation on Sour Soul might have been put to better use with another rapper.
Yes, there's much to love here if you're a fan of either Ghost or BBNG, but at 30 minutes, this album hurriedly finishes without giving its concepts enough time to bloom. The production is top-notch, but Ghost rarely shifts into uncharted lyrical territory, holding back Sour Soul's otherwise consistent production. (Lex)